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Monday, April 30, 2012

FMQ Challenge Recap - April 2012

First, I want to recognize and formally thank Don Linn, our April FMQ Expert for his wonderful tutorial

Don shared many FMQ insights with us, but also shared with us his favorite way to create your own quilting design and stencil, that can be used to mark your quilts for free-motion quilting.  To help express appreciation to Don, I am taking the liberty to share a few comments and observations that I've seen this month, from the participants in this challenge:

Everyone had fun learning and/or improving their FMQ skills using Don's tutorial.

At the point of writing this post, there are ~140 quilters that have completed this tutorial and entered to win a monthly prize.  It is fun to look at all of they entries, as each of them are truly beautiful.  SewCalGal hopes everyone will be able to view all of the entries too!  There are also more photos, from those that have shared on our optional Facebook Group and/or the Flickr group.

Quilters of all levels, from all over the world, are participating in this challenge.  While some have experience doing FMQ, many are quite new.  But, we all enjoyed Don's tutorial very much! 

On behalf of all the participants, I want to extend a special thank you to Don for providing us such a wonderful tutorial and inspiring us to learn and improve our free-motion quilting skills. 


There are over 2,000 quilters that have taken the Pledge to complete all 12 tutorials in 2012, which is a requirement to win a Grand Prize. And, there are many more quilters that are participating, but have acknowledged their schedule won't allow them to complete all 12 tutorials. At the time of writing this post, there are 175+ quilters that complete the March tutorial and took time to enter it in the monthly challenge, to win a Monthly prize.  To clarify, everyone that completes the tutorial and enters via the link is automatically entered to win a monthly prize.  The winner will randomly be selected and announced on the main page for this challenge, about mid-May.

The objective of the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge is to encourage quilters to learn and improve their FMQ skills, as well as gain more awareness to various FMQ Experts, opportunities to learn, tools that are helpful for those doing FMQ, all on a home sewing machine. While the focus is on learning, and SewCalGal does not want the focus to become all about winning prizes, I'm also delighted that many generous sponsors have donated wonderful Grand Prizes and Monthly prizes, that will be awarded to participants randomly. It doesn't matter how good you are at FMQ, what matters is you take time to learn and improve.

Details on how to win a monthly "bundle" prize will always be shared in the same post for the monthly tutorial. Details on how to win a Grand Prize will be shared later this year, but hte basic rule will be that you will need to complete all 12 FMQ tutorials "anytime" in 2012 to be eligible to win a Grand Prize.

SewCalGal is proud to recognize our
for this challenge.

Sponsor(s) Prize(s)
The Fat Quarter Shop
Six prizes for Grand Prize Winners:
1 - $250 GC
1 - $150 GC
1 - $100 GC
3 - $50 GCs
logo One lucky winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to The Stencil Company where they can pick out their favorite continuous line stencil designs that are perfect for quilting
Dream World
One lucky winner will receive a Pieceful Holiday Quilting Package, which includes:
a Steady portable tables, a Travel/Storage Bag, Sew Straight Guide, Spinner Tray and Polish Kit
Pieceful Quilting Holiday Package w/ Drawer Tray
estimated value: $149.99
The Electric Quilt Company One lucky winner will receive a copy of EQ7

Retail price: $189.95
June Tailor A bundle of June Tailor products, perfect for free motion quilting, with an estimated value over $100
A bundle of books, perfect for those interested in free motion quilting, with an estimated value over $100

SewCalGal is proud to recognize our
for this challenge.

Sponsor(s) Prize(s)

sampler pack of 5 threads (12) which will be used in the monthly "bundle" prizes, every month.

Silk Stars Thread kit, with 12 spools of 40 wt threads, that was awarded to a winner in the January Challenge:

Aurifil Silk Stars Thread Collection-


SewSlip has donated 12 SewSlips, to be awarded to the winner of each monthly "bundle".
Revolving Sewslip images
Sewline: Trio Three Color Fabric Marking Pencils with an extra refill package to be given to winners of monthly prize bundles.
Sewline Products
Quilters Touch Quilters Touch has donated 12 bundles, each with a value of $27.95, which will be given to the winners of the monthly "prize bundles":
Machinge 1 (Medium)

  • Sew Precise Sew Fast Machine Binding DVD (retail $19.95),

note:  As machingers are sized for the winner, they will be shipped directly to the respective winners of the monthly prize bundles, from Quilters Touch.  The other part of the monthly prize bundle will be shipped to the monthly prize bundle winners from SewCalGal.
Electric Quilt winners' choice of Quiltmaker Quilting Designs software
from Volume 1-7.  This prize will be awarded during one of the monthly challenges, in a month where there will be two winners.

Quiltmaker Volume 7 software

The monthly Prize Bundle for this Challenge includes:
  • a sampler pack of 5 Aurifil threads, donated by Aurifil.
  • a SewSlip, donated by SewSlip
Revolving Sewslip images

Quilters Touch has donated a pair of  Machingers quilting gloves value $8 each
Machinge 1 (Medium)

And, Quilters Touch donated a Sew Precise Sew Fast Machine Binding DVD (retail $19.95),

Sewline has donated a Trio Three Color Fabric Marking Pencils, with an extra refill package.
Sewline Products

In addition to the lucky winner of the above monthly prize bundle, Don Linn has donated two of his books, one each for two different winners of the April Challenge.

one lucky winner will receive a copy of "free-motion Machine Quilting"

one  lucky winner will receive a copy of "Sophisticated Stitches".

There is still time to enter to win a prize, simply visit the April tutorial for more information. But all entries for this monthly challenge need to be submitted in April, so this is the last day you can enter to win one of three prizes to be randomly awarded to winners of the April Challenge.  To clarify, this is not a judged challenge.  Just simply complete the tutorial and follow the instructions to enter, that are posted on the respective tutorial.  

This post will be updated by mid-May, to announce the April winners. And, an email will also be sent to the winner.  And, they will be recognized on the main page for this event labeled "FMQ Challenge".

The May tuturial will be released on May lst. An email announcement, with additional information, will also be sent to those that signed up for optional emails for this event. If you didn't sign up for such emails and are interested, click here to sign up.

Don't forget to visit Don's page: http://www.mrquilt.com/

Don will also be introducing a new DVD on Free-Motion Quilting that will be available for purchase soon. It is not a requirement to purchase this DVD, to participate in this challenge. SewCalGal will share more information as this DVD becomes available. And, I'm sure you'll be able to find out more from Don's website too.

You may also want to let your Quilt Guild and/or local Quilt Shop know that you'd like to have Don Linncome give a presentation and/or workshop  He teaches a variety of workshops from FMQ on a domestic sewing machine, FMQ on a long arm, as well as making stunning quilts using circles and curves.  .  They can contact Don directly to schedule a program on free-motion quilting, applique', or one of Ann's many specialty programs.


Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Good morning....the sun is finally shining here today...I want to thank you and Don for this month's challenge. It was easy to follow and very constructive. It is one method I will def. be using again..when I improve..lol.
Thanks again!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have not been able to join in with your QAL but have been following everyone's progress closely. A huge "thank you" for this challenge! At the completion of this challenge there will be a wonderful increased level of expertise/confidence for all who have participated~~~~wonderful! I took part in Leah Day's first project QAL and know how far I have come in my skills with FMQ on my DSM! And am very pleased! It is a direction I have wanted to pursue for a long time. It, certainly, isn't about the prizes (although, they are an awesome 'perk'!) but, rather, about furthering/elevating the quilting experience. Thanks, again!!!! Hugs, Doreen

Joanna said...

I'm happy I learned Don's technique because it makes transferring the design easy. I hope to use it often. Thanks to Don and Darlene.

Dana Gaffney said...

I do really want to thank Don, this was such an easy way to transfer a design and it worked perfectly. Thank you very much Don!

Martha said...

Yes!!! Thank-you Don for a great tutorial and fabulous book. I plan on using this technique a lot in the future!!
And thank-you SewCalGal for all that you do for us, this is so much fun!!

In stitches and seams said...

Thnaks Don for a great tutorial. This is one that I am sure to use time and time again and will enjoy playing with it to suit the needs of the qult that I will be working on. This has been a great challenge sew far and I know that ti will only continue to help us all grow as free motion qulters... thanks SewCalGal...
in stitches

Laura said...

I also want to thank Don! What a treat to learn such an easy and effective way to transfer designs! It was also fun to 'cut and paste' to create new designs. Thank you SewCalGal for the FMQ Project!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe how easy the method was that Don taught us this month for creating our own quilting motifs and making stencils that were very easy to use! This is a great tool to have in our quilting toolbox. Thank you so much, Don! I had a lot of fun with this one and learned to loosen up a bit.

teachpany said...

Don, thanks again for the information. It's a brilliant way to customize our designs. I look froward to getting your book. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Thank you Mr. Linn for a great tutorial. I found using the tule difficult. Certainly will try this method again.

Snoodles said...

What an inspiration it is to "meet" these generous quilters and learn from them...I can't say that I will complete all twelve challenges, but I am learning a lot! Thank you!!

Danih03 said...

Thanks for the great tutorial of quilt marking. I am sure this technique will come in handy! When I was watching, I thought, this technique looks familiar. Then when I saw your book, I realized it was the same book I had purchased a month earlier! I'm sure i will use this technique in the future!

Danih03 said...

Question for SewCalGal: I never completed February's challenge for feathers. I decided to combine it with April's challenge. Do I need to write another post for Feb.'s? Check out my post http://freshoffthespool-danih03.blogspot.com/2012/04/april-fmq-challenge.html if you have a minute and please let me know! Thanks!! :)

LindaB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LindaB said...

Thank you Don for the excellent pattern transfer method. I will definitly use it in the future!

Carrie P. said...

I enjoyed learning Don's technique and I am sure I will use it again.

Mary Ann said...

Your method of transfer was perfect for the baby quilt I made - thank you! I'll definitely be pulling this out of my toolkit to use again!

Norma said...

Thank you Mr. Linn, for the wonderful tutorial. I have struggled for years marking designs on quilts, and this is so easy and works so well. I love the way ideas are created and shared among quilters! There is nothing else like it.